Bernard Cribbins, star of Doctor Who and Jackanory, dies at 93 | Television

Bernard Cribbins died at the age of 93. The actor, comedian and singer may be best known in recent years for his recurring role on Doctor Who alongside David Tennant and Catherine Tate, but has been a regular presence on our screens since his television debut. in the 1956 version by David Copperfield.

Cribbins, who was born in Oldham, appeared in numerous films, including Carry on Jack and Carry on Columbus, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy. He first entered the Doctor Who universe in the film Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 AD alongside Peter Cushing in 1964, before returning for the series revival in 2007 as a different character, Wilfred Mott. .

Cribbins is also remembered by a generation of children as the Wombles’ narrator, from 1973 to 1975 – although the series was on endlessly repeated for decades, meaning his legacy has largely survived its short duration. . His suave tones meant he was a perfect fit for the BBC storytelling show, Jackanory, on which he appeared more times than any other reader, 114, between 1966 and 1991. He also appeared in 11 episodes of Coronation Street in 2003 as Wally Bannister.

Cribbins had two top 10 hits in 1962, with Hole in the Ground and Right Said Fred, the former of which was chosen by Noël Coward as one of his Desert Island records, much to Cribbins’ delight. “I’ve never met this gentleman,” he told the Guardian in 2014. “But I was once in a traffic jam in Parliament Square, and a limousine pulled up next to it and he was sitting in the back seat, and I wanted to get out and say it’s me, it’s Hole in the Ground.

Sally Thomsett and Jenny Agutter with Bernard Cribbins in the 1970 film version of The Railway Children. Photo: Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images

Cribbins performed on stage throughout his career, starting in the West End in 1956 at the Arts Theater in A Comedy of Errors, playing leading roles in Guys and Dolls at the National Theater and numerous pantomime performances. He received the OBE in 2011 for his services to the theatre.

Russell T Davies, who worked with Cribbins on Doctor Who, paid tribute to him on Instagram. “I love this man. I love him. He loved being in Doctor Who. He said, ‘The kids call me grandpa on the street!’ Her first day was on location with Kylie Minogue, but all eyes, even Kylie’s, were on Bernard.

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Actor Elaine Page, who appeared alongside Cribbins in Davies’ BBC One adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, said: “I’m so sad. My dear friend Bernard Cribbins has passed away. We met on Anything Goes and kept our “friendship” for over 33 years. A very special, multi-talented man. Funny, kind, genuine, always had a smile on his face and a joke. One of the good guys. I will miss him so much. TO TEAR APART.”

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